In a long career in motor racing I've been fortunate to work with many of the top teams and the greatest drivers of the the time ........but when all's said and done, I will always be, at heart, a McLaren man.
.........I spent two spells there . The first bringing my experience of carbon fibre to the McLaren MP4/1, working alongside John Barnard in a design department initially consisting of just three people!
Nichols graduated from the University of Utah in 1972. He began his career as a development engineer at Hercules Aerospace in 1973. In mid-1980 he moved to motorsport and joined McLaren in Formula One. In 1987 he became head car designer in McLaren following the departure of John Barnard to Ferrari.
(also known as Formula 1 or F1) is the highest class of single-seater auto racing sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (FIA) and owned by the Formula One Group. The World Drivers' Championship, which became the FIA Formula One World Championship in 1981, has been one of the premier forms of racing around the world since its inaugural season in 1950.
The McLaren MP4/4 - the most successful F1 car ever built
Rumours about his future had been circulating and I became aware that something was happening with a casual remark from the night watchman at McLaren who said that we must be incredibly busy as our Technical Director was at the factory in the middle of the night printing numerous McLaren drawings!
So when I was looking for a project to keep me amused in my old age, the idea of taking a fresh look at the very first McLaren, the "M1A", had great appeal. The car is strictly a one-off prototype with all the rough edges that it implies .........